Winter 2009

 

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Cook County and Ely Launch Region’s Newest Early Childhood Coalitions

Cook County and Ely are the area’s newest communities to establish Early Childhood Coalitions. Working together as a community, they will help ensure that all young children have a healthy start to a life of learning, achieving, and succeeding. By connecting people and resources, the coalitions work to strengthen services and identify and fill any gaps that might prevent a child from thriving.

There are now 12 northeastern Minnesota coalitions and 80 throughout the state. Together local coalitions join a larger learning community and have a collective voice in public policy and early childhood issues at local, regional, and state levels.

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Ely and Cook County participate in a community-building process that results in the formation of a vision and action plan that is unique to each community. Parents, caregivers, early education professionals, and kindergarten teachers to nonprofits, government agencies, businesses, and many others bring their perspectives and ideas to the table.

Sarah Hill is the coordinator for Cook County, and Megan Devine and Mary Mattson co-coordinate in Ely. Coordinators facilitate the process of identifying, planning, and carrying out strategies to help their community become a more nurturing place for young children and families.

“More and more studies show that the best investment we can make in our future is to support early childhood care and education,” said Devine, an Ely kindergarten teacher.

“We want to help each child in Cook County reach their full potential, be ready to succeed in school, and have a secure foundation to grow into happy, healthy, productive citizens,” added Hill.